What a summer it’s been in New England! Sunny, blue skies, occasional excessive heat wave usually followed by an excessive downpour, but overall lovely. I think summer is one of the main reasons people live in New England. They have historically been fairly dry. That’s why when I was growing up our homes never had air conditioning. But that’s changing. It’s getting increasingly humid and I learned a lot more about why a few weeks ago from Al Gore.

As a guest of The Climate Reality Project, founded by Gore, I had the privilege to attend the conference both as a participant and a presenter. Joined on stage by my good friend Anne Kelly from Ceres and Stephanie Berger from Bell Canada, we discussed the critical role of the private sector in driving systemic change and, more importantly, how to go about gaining that support economy-wide. We also highlighted the Ceres Climate Declaration, which continues to gain momentum and demonstrate the recognition that addressing climate change is smart business.

While that was a treat, the real gift was being able to participate in the whole event while being taken on a deep-dive into the realities of climate change by Al Gore. It was such a rich few days you’ll be seeing a few more posts from me on various aspects of the conference. But now back to the increasing humidity.

The cause is water vapor. We all learned about water vapor in science class (a big part of the ‘water cycle’), but it doesn’t come up in conversation. And while it’s a Greenhouse Gas in its own right, it tends not to make the hit parade. As the atmosphere warms, more water is evaporated which in turn traps more heat. With each 1°c in temperature, the atmosphere can hold 7% more water vapor. In the last 30-40 years, our atmosphere has already increased its humidity by 4%. Aside from the uncomfortableness (and bad hair days) that it brings, it also means there’s more water pulled into storms resulting in excessive rain and snow and, in some cases, floods.

Clearly, it’s a ‘cycle’ we need to break.

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